Spanish study suggests Mediterranean diet reduces breast cancer risk

Eating a Mediterranean diet, rich with plant foods, fish and olive oil, has been found to be good for the heart, the brain and overall health. Now, a new study out of Spain suggests the diet supplemented with olive oil may also reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers randomly assigned more than 4,200 women, ages 60 to 80, to eat either a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or with nuts, or a low-fat control diet.

“We found a strong effect of a long-term dietary intervention with the Mediterranean diet and extra virgin olive oil on breast cancer incidence,” said Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, a researcher at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

Compared to the control diet group, the Mediterranean plus olive oil group had a 68 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer over a follow-up of about five years…

The study was done within the framework of a large study called PREDIMED, designed to look at the effect of the diet on heart disease prevention. It was published online Sept. 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine…

The authors did note there were limitations in the study, including that breast cancer was not the primary end point and that it was unclear whether the olive oil was beneficial on its own or taken within the Mediterranean diet.

The research also suggests that it’s never too late to change eating habits for health, Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez added.

I’ll say yes to all of the above.

I used to joke that of the two sides of my family, I was fortunate it was the Italians – not the Scots – who taught me to cook, how to eat, what to eat. Generally, that was a jest about flavorful cuisine – even though I also love haggis.

In later years, the Mediterranean diet really dominated all my food intake and I’m the better for it IMHO.

What water shortage? California farmers using oil field wastewater on crops

Oil field in Central Valley, California

A devastating drought has been plaguing the state of California for years. Governor Jerry Brown has called it “an unprecedented, very serious situation.” The circumstances are so dire, farmers in the Central Valley have resorted to using wastewater from oil fields to irrigate their crops. Ingenious solution? Or dangerous health risk?

Correspondent Mike Kirsch travels to the center of the state to investigate just what’s in the water. He visits farmers and community members and shows us the oil fields from where treated oil wastewater is being sent to farms and used to grow crops…

Growing numbers of citizens and environmentalists are accusing Governor Jerry Brown and the oil industry of being less than transparent about the health hazards from toxic chemicals in the water.

Mike interviews Scott Smith, the chief scientist for an organization called “Water Defense” that has tested the water. Smith tells Mike Kirsch “The chemicals we found cause cancer and negatively impact your health.”

Scott Smith is asking the oil companies to conduct joint testing with him on the wastewater to ensure accurate and transparent results. So far, he says, oil companies have declined his invitation.

CCTV video wastewater crops

Check out Mike Kirsch’s piece for “Americas Now” at the bottom of the article

Australian PM [now, former PM] laughing about climate change

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was hit by yet another gaffe Friday, after he was caught chuckling at a joke about Pacific island nations being devastated by climate change.

The incident took place shortly before a government meeting on refugees. The meeting appeared to be running behind schedule, prompting Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to comment the meeting was running on “Cape York time.”

“We had a bit of that up in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea),” Abbott responded.

Dutton then quipped, “Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re about to have water lapping at your door.”

Abbott started laughing at the comment, until Social Services Minister Scott Morrison quietly told him a microphone was positioned overhead. Abbott immediately stopped laughing.

Abbott followed the conservative party line typical of Americans in our Republican Party through his short tenure. Managing to further screw up the economy, the government, education and all. He was fired by his party – the so-called Liberal Party – this weekend.

His replacement, Malcolm Turnbull, may not prove any better on economic matters; but, at least he understands science well enough to refute climate change deniers. He also would like to take Australia away from fealty to some distant monarch.